tv Cross Talk RT March 4, 2013 2:28pm-3:00pm EST
john kerry made his first major verbal gaffe as secretary of state by mixing the nonexistent country of courage to stand in one of his speeches of course it is funny when politicians misspeak george bush was pretty good at that but i can say that we all make mistakes and we speak trust me it's very easy to butcher the pronunciation of some place on earth like course to loaf of all or walla walla washington the thing is that he didn't just misspeak his speech was written correctly and if you look at his eyes as he said it he wasn't really looking at notes or something he was reading it off of a teleprompter right now i am reading off a teleprompter but i put every word there myself which is probably why john kerry is spelled with a q but my question is would kerry and prompter mr obama just read anything put in front of them to even really know the realities of the tiriel they're reading in their speeches if you're deeply versed on some subject and you should need to read word for word from the teleprompter to give a speech just try writing some notes and speaking with your brain and maybe your heart like in the good old days but that's just my opinion.
and welcome to cross talk where all things considered i'm peter lavelle atheism a religion that has a specific worldview and even value system what accounts for the spectacular loss of faith in much of the western world and secularism captured much of christianity is message without the organizational trappings and dogma and or a few support of the same rights as people of faith. to cross not to atheism and religion i'm joined by jason torpy in washington he is the president of the military association of atheists and freethinkers in quebec we have lawrence to still he is the president of the creation science association of quebec and in new york we cross to rob he is a writer and comedian on a general cross talk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want and i very much encourage you jason. atheism
a new religion for the west atheism simply means lacking a belief in a higher power so if so if that's what you're talking about then of course not it's a simple expression of one's of one's own personal beliefs which is more feeling than anything if you're talking about something like humanism which is a positive expression of seeing the world through the lens of science having human flourishing as a highest value understanding ethics and you know rational approach to the world that goes along with that and making your own meaning one line what's the difference between the two that's what's the difference and what's the difference between the two is there any meaningful difference. so the meaningful difference is that atheism is a simple word with the simple definition a lack of belief not even necessarily something that rises to the level of denying all other religions but simply a lack of belief in a higher power in the same reason a christian doesn't believe in vishnu or hindu or vishnu or a law we don't believe in any of those in any of those other other. deities but if
you actually build a building beyond that dedicated belief in a higher power you know in a higher human flourishing and you bill build out from that a system of ethics and an approach to the world then i think that you know that equally to religion even though it's fundamentally different in several ways ok lawrence i notice you already want to jump in go ahead yeah atheism means it's latin for without god or you're refusing the possibility of a theistic approach. there's some logical problems with just addressing that it's not just to deny or saying we do we don't it to it's saying there isn't a theistic back. backbone to creation or to whatever surrounds us in nature and so it's more of a position and the problem with atheism i see is that it requires someone to know that anywhere in the whole universe there isn't a god there isn't
a theistic process and that's impossible because our knowledge is so small in terms of the universe that we couldn't prosody pronounce ourselves and saying we know that nowhere in the whole universe is no such thing as a theistic there's no such thing as a god now if jason was to say he was agnostic and saying well i just don't know if there is a god that i would understand better but atheism is a position that it puts itself against theistic position it's the antithesis of a theistic position now i must say this i still believe it's a it's a belief system because you everybody has to believe one of two things either you believe in an eternal god or you believe in internal matter you only have the two choices and either way you're looking at something in the tunnel which is earn the winning star get it jump in there isn't a something it's belief it's a point of the program jason your head. i don't know if you want to call it as a result of all the money and it's all going to let me go to. private jets in reply go ahead we'll go to rob go ahead so lawrence said specifically you must believe in god or you must believe in a purely naturalistic world and that's a false dichotomy it's
a logical fallacy he also says. he also put forth that atheists have the position that we are holding that there is no god no matter what i already said it's a lack of belief if you approach the world in a proper in a proper manner the burden of proof is still on the person making the positive assertion the positive assertion is the extraordinary claim that there is a magical being in the sky that created the entire world that is the one that has the burden of proof you know lawrence and other religious people have to prove that to others otherwise the only logical position to have the only intellectually. only position of intellectual integrity is to reserve. is to not accept a position that has not been proven ok rob now go ahead please do as an atheist take a position. ok well first of all when many people refer to religion they refer to it as organized religion and that's a big problem with atheism and and why you can't refer to atheism as a religion because there's no real organization to it it's like having a meeting of anarchists or mentally in an i pad how did know is that i don't have
it wrong and it doesn't matter because they don't want to vote yes has but you know they don't not very well they don't want to vote on anything and i i think i guess i might list myself as as an atheist but i i like to think that hopefully there's some kind of higher power but i don't want to look at it in the classical way of some some god like guy saying you know that rob taubes driving down the cross bronx expressway the day's going to get a car accident break his arm i mean that's that's a real religious extremism but i just think the big problem right now in our in this country's specifically and in the world is what religion has always polarized us and separated us into war and it's important cause wars and it's to structured a belief system and to regimented and i also think that religion is losing step in this country especially because people are not motivated to follow religious leaders but rather follow sports figures or religious leader lawrence jump and
that's a very good only i don't mean let's go to lawrence is going to lawrence first go ahead i mean if we take if we have. that can't be true if you take a look at all the. gallup polls that are done over the last twenty years over fifty percent of the american and canadian i'm canadian so i prefer that the comerica population also believe in a young earth that's under ten thousand years another thirty five percent believe that god created man so it's eighty five percent of the population is theist. i'm sorry i know that fifteen percent of the population is controlling the media or perhaps the educational system but eighty five percent of the population is theist in the us and canada and certainly i don't see an atheistic. president in the us as. coming to power they have to go for the religious vote because it's such a powerful vote in the us it is less so in canada but such a powerful vote in the u.s. so i don't understand what rob was saying i do know this though that it's maybe not as easy as you think mention that it isn't it was
a rational bit of misinformation or that it wasn't rational to believe in a creator but that it's the most rational thing in the world to believe in and a creator if i have a computer and the no one is going to be i think i can jump in here ok all right jason intelligent it's go to jail it's got to jason go ahead fair time. yes so the first thing we don't want to do is have another logical fallacy of appealing to the majority no matter how many think how many people believe in a certain thing that doesn't make it true or false but i can recognize rob's criticism of the humanist community and the organized atheist community the ones that have that live according to their values and have deeply held beliefs they care very much about that we build communities and families around you know not to have an advertisement the military association of atheism freethinkers american humanist association the internationally missed an ethical union the american ethical union the society for humanistic judaism these are all organized groups that have come together and are trying to build communities communities of values to help people not only to know that how not only to know the facts and the values
of humanism but also to live communities in an atheistic lifestyle even if they don't necessarily label themselves that humanism or agree with every single thing they can come together and say we only under you know we understand the world through the lens of science we care very much about humanity and the advancement of humanity and we are going to build these organizations not in a hierarchical dogmatic way but in a loving caring and compassionate way and those communities are out there so when you go out and look at the look for those communities you will find them if you if you just look around for a few minutes communities and even atheist communities meetup dot com or google or or any of these modern technology you look around for road canada the u.s. australia afghanistan if i go to rob those are noble ideas what's wrong with them you don't need religion to believe in the things i think most people would agree with what jason had to say well let me jump in on that what i think is interesting is i was raised as a jew i'm not practicing i was bar mitzvah and my grandfather was bar mitzvah but
he came to the united states from russia and he had where the tallest villain and he pretty much i don't see one and say we're not is judaism but he never really want to synagogue anymore but he used to talk to me of the the bible and he gave me an interesting comparison. he used to also read grimm's fairy tales to me and stories that all had a moral lesson and some kind of parable and he used to say as long as that that's what the bible is like it's telling him for tales of more ality doesn't mean they're true and i think that the big problem especially with christianity more so is they tend to literalize everything the do one thing i do like about judaism is it teaches talmudic lee and it teaches through stories and parables and moral lessons like that and someone tells you you're going to be smote or that you have to pray to an actual existing deity which is one other reason why it's not a popular religion i think one of the big ironies of judaism it's a very liberal religion if you're born into it the big difficulty is if you if you
want to convert to judaism then make it nearly impossible whereas if you want to create convert to christianity it's like ok sign this raise your hand and say i'm a christian a good if you're in. school and it's going to jump it is going to go to school for like sixty years even today we even if your idea years old you know they're going to toss a ball for you ok well it's good. yes somewhere in here we've lost your initial question which was whether atheism is the new religion. and i think that i don't first of all i don't think it's a new religion and yes i agree with jason that humanism is perhaps the religious manifestation of atheism but my point is that all humans as individuals are religious beings they all believe in something they can the knowledge only goes so far so they have to use a belief or a face system somewhere and where it concerns the origins of things and the universe origin themselves a where we come from whatever reason for being in the universe and where we're going these are all religious questions that human suppose i don't think dogs do i
don't think any other end life form does i'm my communication is limited with my dog but he doesn't seem to think too abstractly and so i would go over that yes we are looking at an atheistic religion i do i must say one thing though i would i would. i would i would keep away from the idea that religion is the bane of all existence and the opiate of the people and it's a problem everywhere religion has its problems because people have their problems just as atheism has its problems i mean we can't say that stalin pol pot amal were christian a religious in any way they were communists atheists and they killed more people than all the wars put together. up to that stage and i'm not doing a competition i'm not saying that anything bad is good because something bad is bad i'm just saying how many people did the crusades and heartless you're right we're all going to go back to you here we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on atheism and religion stay with r.t.
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four chargers three major men's three. three. three. three broadcast quality video for your media projects free media don carty dot com. please. welcome back to crossfire all things considered i'm peter lavelle to mind you were talking about whether atheism is a religion. ok rob i'm going to go back to you in the middle of a pearl of wisdom go right ahead well i was saying that just because you're a test pot like pol pot or stalin it is has nothing to do with religion it's
more about political tyranny there is political tyranny from the ayatollah khomeini who was wildly religious so you can't say that a godless country is going to produce morally you know bad people and i was also adding that when we're talking about wars and slaughter the. we're pretty bad the the irish and the the english seem to be from fighting over religion for years and then there was this thing called the spanish inquisition that wasn't very nice to my people another thing i want to point out about religion organized religion that i find flabbergasting to me is the intractability of religious groups i mean the catholics wonder why their popularity is waning that the pope who left today was still telling people in africa not to wear condoms harboring pedophiles and putting together wools and regulations that are going to require regulations but just ludicrous rules that date back hundreds of years that are just not in
keeping with modern times so of course they're going to lose followers ok lawrence i think you should respond here because you're the i man out here so good lawrence for us. i appreciate that. actually i agree with what was just said i'm not too fond of religion myself it's usually used to manipulate or to control groups. i'm more into a relationship if there is a living god then i would believe it's possible to have a relationship with god and that's a very personal thing can be done in groups but it's always a personal relationship that's the whole evangelical christian community thinks that way but i would have i would have to agree with all that said i think religion is a bad thing in fact if you remember in terms of christianity it is the religious people that got jesus crucified jason very interesting point go right ahead well i just want to be ok. i was on a television show a couple of years ago a number of years ago and president bush was still president he was saying god the
lord told me to do something and i found that really horrible and offensive so that night on a particular show i said well you know god spoke to me the other day and he told me to stop eating green peppers and the host was outraged at this it was like god will never tell you that i'd like well how do you believe president bush was told by god to go bomb somebody white why can't god tell me to stop eating something that's causing me severe gas you know it's bizarre we have this crazy belief system that's going to not it's going to tell somebody in power to do something crazy but he's not going to speak to that to the masses jason jumping on those guys like me. yeah when i think i think one of the important things that we need to hit on this show when we talk about atheism versus religion or even humanism versus traditional religious values is one of the fundamental differences is this dogmatic in here is to belief this celebration that because i believe something that is inherently a good thing you know this insistence that i should take evidence and if it fits
what i look at if it fits what i believe already i should celebrate that if that it doesn't fit i should call it the devil and put it aside this rejection of reality in favor of preconceived notions is the most dangerous part of religion that is something that is absolutely rejected by all non-theistic beliefs and practices especially humanism so it's very important to understand that as we look at religious people as we do interfaith alliances and atheist religious alliances if we try to wake the world a better place what we need to be on both sides of the equation most vigilant against is those pitfalls that are most dangerous and that celebration of ignorance over evidence and celebration of myth over reality that's something that we need to be most most concerned about and it's one of the biggest differences between humanistic beliefs and practices and and some of the you know some of the traditional religious values and some of the expressions of those traditional beliefs lawrence you want to you're disagreeing there go ahead please that we suddenly have transcript of what i said i was tired dogmatically. lawrence go ahead
if he is dogmatic atheist are dogmatic about their position concerning evolution evolution is the basis of their religion it's the at least the evolutionary theory of hunters into human theory is the basis they have to because as i said before you either believe in something supernatural or you believe in eternal natural and so the they stick to the natural trouble is the evidence for evolution isn't there he says how many times i hear jason just say that anybody that doesn't think like him must be irrational must be someone who believes in myths and not in reality well i'm sorry i'm a scientist a geneticist and i don't i don't believe in through evolution because i don't see it happening frogs will become princes in one hundred fifty years in any hundred fifty million years in my lab i don't see it in the fossil record i don't see any evidence for what the evolution is supporting aside from microevolution large changes going from bacteria human just aren't there that's a belief system so it's wrong to say that they. are not dogmatic about something they're definitely dogmatic about their position concerning natural reason because jason has been on this whole show jason you want to reply to that please do so
because it was a joy so i don't think it's a result not of good will it is it is well for ignorance and so you know all of all the things that we look at in the past you can see you know we adjust our every time we adjust our views in the face of new evidence and new science and new scientific advances were called flip floppers and we believe in nothing every time we recognize the mountain of evidence you know for example for evolution you can go to talk origins dot org that's just not profit website that can answer any creation are starting it because there it's easy to answer it's not that we reject the religious evidence we put the one page of the bible that that page from genesis would put that on one side of the scale and we then we take all of the evidence ever collected from science through history and you know for me i just think the evidence outweighs and it's very simple you know we see it in the courts we see it in a court of public opinion creation is put forward a lists one of the one the institutes they have
a list of all of the scientists from any discipline that maybe support creationism and then to respond to that organization called the national center for science education put it put together the steve project. and they just they only accept people with steve named steve or esteban or stephanie similar names like steven only in disciplines that are actually related to geology and biology and evolution they have thousands of names with just one hundred or so on the creationist list so to say that evolution is not something that is something that's only an exclusively comes from cambridge is not so that's a good point so this is not an appeal to not always minded expert opinion and to evidence rob jump in memory the first list came from the creationist side i find it really amusing that that creationists find it hard to believe that dinosaurs walked the earth but they think moses held up a stick turned it into a snake and then part of the red sea. it's comical and really tragic in
a way and and the religion also becomes even with extreme atheists like the political spectrum the far left and the far right they're so far apart they come together and they meet in a circle it's like an atheist i like bill maher but i've seen him on there calling anybody who's religious a moron that's not right it's just like saying if you don't believe in god you're going to burn in hell it's you know there has to be some middle ground look i know people who are professed atheists and they probably are but they still attend a house of worship because they get some kind of comfort in or it's a social thing and your enjoy a ritual and i'm not going to condemn anybody as for what they think and less it's a real extremism and then i'm going to be bothered by it whether it's an extreme atheist or or a religious fanatic of the boat both of them bother me because they're both fanatics. lawrence go ahead jump in is all about tolerance then that's what jesus taught being tolerant but west doesn't mean we don't believe there's an absolute
truth and certainly i disagree with some of the comments stereotyping that i just heard rob do concerning creationists as i don't know anybody that qualifies under what he just described a creationist i certainly don't. but i am a scientist i go with what i observe. and we can get off on that tangent but we're getting away from your question which is atheism the new religion and yes i think there is a backlash and base well the material of jesus is about tolerance a lot of religious stuff and that's from the. let's go to course and so what what i'm hearing is a lot of a lot of people are having a backlash you know organized religion and i think that's healthy i think i mean the thing is is that someone who puts them up as a more puts themselves up as a moral standard as christians or. will do then set themselves up for a fall if they can't maintain a moral standard and so however i like the fact the christianity does have a moral standard has
a moral yes a right this is right or wrong where is atheism i don't see where moral standards would come from there's no general moral but i mean a right when we come from you know lawrence can't you be more involved i mean can't you be moral and i hate the installer can you be moral and an atheist at the same time of course you can yes i think you can you can but i think there's a reason for that i think that there is a god and that he wrote his law in our hearts and so we're born with an innate knowledge of what's right or wrong but i wouldn't i wouldn't predict that from an evolutionary position jason what do you think is involved animal we don't put we don't put the dogs in prison so light someone they don't know what's right or from wrong. yet and that's and that's a good point dogs also can't fly to the moon dogs can't you know develop develop legal systems unethical system and social justice framework. yet again video and cable will differ on is that religious the religion is the most maybe. going to see the understanding is religion is the most common expression of cultural relativism
what we have is from a legit framework we say i have my book and i have my interpretation of my book and that therefore and that is absolute truth that others should here too i mean that's why we have thousands of different kinds of christianity the different thing that we do within you know the atheist and humanist tradition is what we do if we try to really do the hard work of understanding what the right approach is in the right situation we take social sciences medical sciences nutritional sciences. political political background and evidence and we try to figure out what the best approach is that increases human flourishing you know that's the value that we approach and for example let's take the burka so you're trying to tell you right here and the religious theory the truth or non-truth that's a religion that's the only option we have it's better than just taking whatever is written in an old book i mean there are so approaches here you can unless you have one through and there's an old joke about marty you have an old books. i wish we had more time on because i love your show the world in general means we've run out
of time here many thanks to my guest in washington and then come back and thanks to our viewers for watching us here are to see you next time and remember crosstalk brawls. the only one. do we speak your language doesn't follow the law and not advance. news programs and documentaries and spanish what matters to you breaking news a little turn it if angles couldn't stories. for you here.
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